Ali Black

Poetry | Cleveland State University | Class of 2023

Ali Black’s newest collection, The Costs, explores the female body, grief, and loss. Vulnerable and attentive, Black covers funerals, infertility, death, and beauty. A speaker explains a part of her grief process: “When someone I love dies/I lose my appetite then braid my hair.” These poems are filled with love, wonder, and rich observation. Black has written a searing and devastating collection that makes us feel the pressures, possibilities, and distinct joys of the black experience.


About Ali

Ali Black is a writer from Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of If It Heals At All (Jacar Press, 2020). The book was named a finalist for the 2021 Ohioana Book Award in poetry. Her writing has appeared in The Atticus Review, jubilat, Literary Hub, The Offing, The Adroit Journal and elsewhere. She recently launched a creative writing program for teens called The Most Promising.

What’s on your nightstand right now?

Fruit Punch by Kendra Allen and Bluest Nude by Ama Codjoe

Your most awkward moment with a famous writer?

Once, I opened for a famous poet (I won’t say her name), and she forgot to acknowledge me or my reading during her opening remarks.

Your advice to an incoming MFA student?

Take advantage of all the special programs/projects (readings, workshops, and festivals) offered while you’re studying in the program. These events might be offered around town and/or through the NEOMFA program.